MANILA, Philippines – Former world light-welterweight champion Amir “King” Khan of Britain is disappointed that his rematch with American boxer Lamont Peterson did not push through, but is looking forward to fighting unbeaten Danny Garcia instead.
“Danny Garcia is a tough guy. I’m not taking him lightly,” Khan said in a Boxing Scene interview.
Khan lost to Peterson in their first meeting last December, but the controversial nature of the result led to a rematch being scheduled.
But the rematch was cancelled when Peterson tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, which turned out to be synthetic testosterone.
Instead of Peterson, Khan will now fight Garcia on July 14, and the British boxer said he expects Garcia to be a tough challenge.
“He’s unbeaten in 23 fights, and he’s beaten the likes of Erik Morales and Nate Campbell, and he won the WBC (World Boxing Council) title,” Khan said.
“He’s a world champion, and he’s only 24. He’s young,” he added.
Khan commended Garcia for trying to accomplish what he also did at that age: “fight the very best and make a name for myself.”
“I’ve got to give him a lot of credit for that, because it shows he’s got guts and he’s not taking shortcuts or easy routes,” Khan said. “He wants to take the tough route, and fight the best like myself.”
“So it will be a good fight – a tough fight, too. I’m not taking him lightly or looking too far ahead,” Khan added.
But the boxer also admitted that he wants to “get Garcia out of the way and take a look at the future.”
Khan has made no secret of his intention to move up to the welterweight division, where he can possibly challenge unbeaten American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.